In the 1950s, after he had joined his father's dental practice in Pitman, Edward D. Blackman Jr. decided to do what had not been done there before.
"One day a week, every Wednesday of the school year, he ran a dental clinic in the Pitman school system," son Douglas said. The free care extended into the 1970s.
On Friday, May 2, Dr. Blackman, 92, who practiced in Pitman from 1946 to 1988, died at Pitman Manor, a senior-care community.
The Rev. Larry Potts, senior pastor at the Pitman United Methodist Church, called Dr. Blackman "an amazing part of this community."
Potts noted that Dr. Blackman had been a trustee and served on every committee at the church, especially the staff parish relations committee, which hired staff.
Born in the family home in Pitman, Dr. Blackman graduated from Pitman High School, earned a bachelor's degree at Ursinus College, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 1942.
He served as a Navy dentist from 1942 to 1946, and was recalled to active duty in 1953 during the Korean War, serving stateside in both tours of duty.
In the 2000s, his son said, Dr. Blackman was grand marshal of the Fourth of July parade there. And for a time, he was president of the Kiwanis Club in Pitman.
In his 60s, he studied woodcarving at Gloucester County College "and became an accomplished carver."
On his first day at elementary school in Pitman, his son said, "he met a girl named Margery Myrtetus. He came home and told his mother, Virginia, that he had met a very special girl that he wanted her to meet."
In October 1944, they were married.
Besides his son and his wife, Dr. Blackman is survived by daughter Lisa; a brother; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by son Jesse and daughter Andrea Kling.
A life celebration was set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, at Pitman United Methodist Church, 758 N. Broadway, with a visitation after the service in the church social hall.
Donations may be sent to www.ranchhope.org.
Condolences may be offered to the family at www.kelleyfhpitman.com.